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Credit Services Association (CSA) Votes to Accept Law Firms as Members


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Hi All

 

Just thought this may be of interest from Credit Services Association Website:

 

http://www.csa-uk.com/csa-news/57/csa-votes-to-accept-law-firms-as-members

 

CSA Votes to Accept Law Firms as Members

 

10/02/2012

 

The Credit Services Association (CSA) has voted in favour of allowing law firms to join its Association in a new category of affiliate members.

 

The move means that new members will now sign up to both the spirit and the word of the CSA’s Code of Practice and allow the Association to police it; they will enjoy all of the benefits of full membership but will not be able to vote as full and foundation members can, nor will they be able to stand for election to the CSA board of directors.

 

The debate as to whether to allow legal firms into the Association began more than 10 years ago, but in that time, Peter Wallwork, Chief Executive of the CSA believes the landscape has changed significantly: “Whether you are a large or a small, consumer or commercial collections organisation, the fact remains that it is a much more level playing field if law firms operating in ‘our space’ have to sign up to the same Code of Practice as we do,” he says.

 

Sara de Tute, President of the CSA agrees, adding that if consumer credit is brought under the regulation of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) then this is likely to include regulation of all consumer collections irrespective of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) as the consumer should have the same protection regardless of the type of business carrying out collections: “As we appear to be taking significant steps towards life under a new regulator, there has never been a more important time to present a unified voice across all areas of debt collection and that includes a new volume player in the shape of law firms,” she says.

 

“Those in the outside world see us all as doing the same thing: collecting debts. It is critical, therefore that we all get the same message over to the new regulator and speak as one, powerful voice.”

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They have been pretty smart TBH.

 

That said, the way the FCA works will really depend on how the Govt sets it up at the start - quality, pro-active regulation requires a lot of staff and money. The Government may talk the talk and talk about FSA failings but I am not so sure they will back it up with an aggresive regulator. It is oen thing making the law but its another thing paying for lots of staff to do the job properly.

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I actually think this is a good idea as they will now be tied by CPUTR2008 in line with the CSA's code of conduct.

PLEASE NOTE - I am not a legal expert, what is stated is my own opinion and from what I have learnt from this forum and my own experiences.

 

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